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Where Are You Now?

Mahmoud Elsaid

BSc Artificial Intelligence 2009

MSc Software Enterprise 2010

Mahmoud Elsaid became interested in how technology could help people from a young age.

The 30-year-old, who was initially studying a distance learning Business Computing programme in Egypt, noticed that the University of Sunderland had an on-campus Artificial Intelligence degree and decided to move here.

He explained: “When I learned about the Artificial Intelligence programme I was quite excited about it so I decided to switch my programme of study and come and study on campus. Following my bachelor’s degree, I was very happy with the University and its approach and culture and decided to pursue my master’s degree here.”

In his first year at the University of Sunderland, he delivered consultancy work to IBM and Vodafone. He established LamasaTech Ltd while studying for his masters.

Lamasa Tech is a digital technology agency that specialises in interactive applications and touchscreen technology including self-service kiosks, digital displays and visitor management.

“We are unusual in that we manufacture our own hardware as well as developing all of the software too,” he explained.

The company, now in its ninth year, has offices in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and the US, as well as in Newcastle.

Mahmoud, who is based in Newcastle, received a FORBES entrepreneur award in 2015. More recently, the company received a North East Business Award in recognition of its work at The Word in South Shields.

Reflecting on his time at the University of Sunderland, Mahmoud said: “I think my best memory is the time I spent working at the research centre in the area of hybrid intelligence systems. I worked as part of a leading team of researchers developing artificial neural networks that replicate how the human brain process and localise sound.

“I was given an office and 24/7 access to the research centre once they had seen my commitment. I continued to work until my last year at the University and participated in publishing two papers in international conferences during my bachelor’s degree that had my name on it as a co-author.”

He added: “It was a memorable proud moment that showed me how the University of Sunderland trusted and gave students the importance they deserve and room to grow professionally, while having a sheer amount of social activities, trips and events to socialise and have a fun while doing it.”

Mahmoud is looking to grow the international reach of LamasaTech over the next five years, but he knows he will only achieve this with the help of his 26-strong workforce.

“I’m very proud of the team,” he said. “We all work very hard and are very target driven. Everyone knows they have to push the limits of what’s possible to get where the business to where it needs to be.”

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